MSN Home  |  My MSN  |  Hotmail
Sign in to Windows Live ID Web Search:   
go to MSNGroups 
Free Forum Hosting
Important Announcement Important Announcement
The MSN Groups service will close in February 2009. You can move your group to Multiply, MSN’s partner for online groups. Learn More 
What's New
  Ask Joel  
  Prior Questions  
  Who is Joel?  
  Joel's Library  
  No Medical Advice  
  Joel's Videos  
General : "How can I quit if I can't afford patches?"  
 Message 1 of 6 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/7/2005 9:37 AM
my name is jessie and I was wondering if you knew if health insurance would pay for patches or something to help you quit smoking.  I have no money I am a college student with a baby and a fiance who smokes. I do not work but I really want to quit smoking.  I say I can't not to be negative but because I know when I need help and I know when to ask for help and this is one of those times.  I have been talking about quitting for about 2 years and it seems like it is always one of those "yeah right" things but I want it to happen and I want me fiance to quit too. I know if we both got help through insurance or wherever we could do it but I know I can't do it without help.  Please just let me know of anything that may be able to help us.  I do not want to die at 40 and not get to see my daughter grow up.
Thank you,
Hello Jessie:
I don't have a clue of whether your health insurance will pay for patches Most don't. The truth of the matter is though, it wouldn't be worth it to use patches or gums or any other nicotine containing product even if someone else paid for them and even gave you extra cash along with it. The problem with these products is not that they are going to cost you your money; it is that they are likely going to cost you your ability to successfully quit smoking.
The good news is quitting smoking, if done correctly, should cost you nothing. You should be able to save every penny you used to spend on cigarettes from the day you stop smoking. I am going to attach a series of links below that address this issue and other concerns you have raised.
Don't feel handicapped in your ability to quit because of lack of funds. You will end up with more money, more time, more health and an overall better quality of life by making and sticking to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Pharmacological Aids to Smoking Cessation

Pharmacological Aids Part II

40 Years of Progress?

Quitting Methods: Who Should You Believe?

So How Did Most Successful Ex-Smokers Actually Quit?

Most expert say "Don't quit cold turkey"

Hooked on the Cure (This one will show you what the real costs can be from using these products)

Is Cold Turkey the Only Way to Quit?

General Comments About the Use of Zyban


Buddy Systems

 I will quit when

Setting Quit Dates

"I don't want to die!" - the bottom line?

"I can't quit" ... or ... "I won't quit"?


First  Previous  2-6 of 6  Next  Last 
 Message 2 of 6 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameStarshinegrl-GoldSent: 12/7/2005 12:03 PM
Dear Jessie,
Joel has given you such a good answer already and really good things to read to enable you to make up your own mind.
The only reason I am writing to you as well is that I still think it is so very sad that people are made to believe they can't quit smoking or using nicotine if they don't use NRT-products. I am copying something in here, which I have written about a month back but it is still true:
I had started a quit in October 2004 (I think it was on the 27th but I am not so sure anymore): it was Cold Turkey as I had tried both the patches (I say "try" because it must have been half hearted as I kept smoking one or two ... I think after two weeks I was back to my full pack a day again) and Zyban (yes, I even went to one of those NHS no-smoking clinics in 2003).
It still makes me furious and sad when I think about this experience even now - about 2 years later. We met once a week with a so-called counsellor, when she was distributing some info sheets. Smoking was very much treated like a habit. One young woman in the group went Cold Turkey because she was pregnant and therefore had to - only to be pitied by everybody else (most of all by the so-called counsellor) that she had to do it "the hard way". To me it felt as if the whole thing was a big promotion for NRT-products.
While I was very uncomfortable with all of that and felt something wasn't quite right I still trusted the "experts" and thought all they told us was true. Yes, the additives in nicotine etc. and the dangers of nicotine were mentioned but then again: back to the NRT. As I even then didn't see the sense in using patches or another NRT-product (been there, done it!) again, I was convinced by the counsellor that I just had to use Zyban.
The only thing that was done every week without fail was a breath into a carbon monoxide-metre, which was duly noted down. People were asked if they had smoked at all and unsurprisingly a lot of the group on NRT-products did. This did not seem to bother the counsellor too much ... she only got a bit nervous when somebody using the patches admitted in more than one meeting that he DID use the patch but also smoked nearly as many cigarettes as he did before. (This young man coincidentally was the boyfriend of the young pregnant woman ... why did he want to stop smoking? Did HE want to stop at all?) Nobody was encouraged to really share what was going on or what was experienced ...
The Zyban didn't really agree with my system (loads of side effects but I didn't smoke while I was taking it. The infamous one puff happened a few weeks after I came off it -- just wanted to see that it couldn't do any harm to me as I had been off for a while now. Before long ... back to the usual one pack per day.)
I kept smoking but could no longer tell myself that I did because I really, really loved it - why else would I have even gone to the trouble of stopping before?
You really do not need any patches, gum or whatever else to help you quit smoking. I admire you for coming here and asking for help - I also needed help and found it when I joined Freedom and also by learning as much as I could about our shared addiction and I have now been nicotine free for just over a year.
As far as your fiancé is concerned: have a look at these:
    He needs to make this decision for himself and you need to realise that first and foremost you will be quitting for yourself. Your loved ones and your baby especially will no doubt benefit from it and I think your baby will be ever so proud of his/her non-smoking mother.
    Jessie, please, don't think you cannot do this should you still be feeding your body nicotine and should you be thinking about quitting. What are you waiting for? You most certainly CAN and there is really nothing to be afraid or scared of if you do it the Cold-Turkey-way. Don't let anybody tell you that you need NRT-products to replace nicotine with nicotine. You are the one person who can take your life back. You honestly don't have to wait for that magic moment when you know it is time - you can just go ahead, do it, cherish the one and only life you have got and give yourself and all those who love you the best gift anybody could possibly think of!
    I won't wish you any luck because, when you think about it, luck really hasn't got anything to do with it at all. What I do wish you is the courage and the realisation that you really can do this!!
    376 days and a bit

    The number of members that recommended this message. 0 recommendations  Message 3 of 6 in Discussion 
    Sent: 12/7/2005 12:17 PM
    This message has been deleted by the author.

     Message 4 of 6 in Discussion 
    From: MSN NicknameJoeJFree-Gold-Sent: 12/7/2005 12:24 PM
    Hi Jessie,
    In one of the article links Joel has recommended above (General Comments About the Use of Zyban) I wrote this comment.

    You don't need anything else to 'help' you quit smoking.  You need No 'Program', No Pills, No Patches, No Pieces of Gum, No Potions, No Powders in capsules.
    To quit smoking you just need to - QUIT SMOKING! 
    All you need is Motivation, Determination and Education to Never take another puff, No Matter What.  The relatively short period of adjustment to Dealing With Life Without the Drug that is the quitting part of the overall healing process can be challenging.  But the rewards on the other end of that in comparison brief period of adjustment are immeasurable.
    Jessie, I spent years working with the same misconception that you suggest.  That getting rid of tobacco smoking is too hard to do on your own.  That you need 'something else'  a 'remedy' to support and enable you to quit smoking.  In a way, that is true.  The educational information & support like I found at the FreedomFromTobbacoQuitSmokingNow forum proved to be the crucial missing component I'd been looking for for over 20 years in my desire to be smoke free.  Not a pill, not a potion, not a patch - A Promise is what I needed.
    A Promise that it can be done by getting clean of nicotine.
    A Promise that 'If I could do it so can you'.
    A Promise that 'It will get better with time'.
    A Promise that living nicotine free is as we were meant to be, naturally comfortable.
    Nicotine Cessation Support, whether 3-D or virtual from others in similar circumstances from all over the world, gives validation that a smoke free future is attainable.  YOU already possess everything you need to quit smoking.  YOU already possess the most crucial component - a desire to be free from smoking nicotine.  YOU can do it! 
    "You are stronger than you seem, smarter than you look and braver than you believe."
    Some 'Interesting' Reading:


     Message 5 of 6 in Discussion 
    From: JohnSent: 12/7/2005 12:51 PM

    Jessie your question evidences just how effective pharmaceutical industry marketing has been at brainwashing smokers into believing that if they cannot quit with NRT -- the best modern science has to offer ?that they’re hopeless. How effective do you think that nicotine patch is Jessie? If we gave a full supply to 100 quitters, how many would still be not smoking at six months? The answer is just 7 out of 100. But it gets even worse for second time nicotine patch users, their odds drop to less than 1 in 100. Yes, less than one percent.

    But don’t take my word for it. Read the below studies and study summaries for yourself. The first study listed, the one combining and averaging the results of all six 6 over-the-counter nicotine patch studies and finding just a 7% six month quitting rate was conducted by GlaxoSmithKline consultants, the maker of Nicorette gum, the Commit lozenge and the Nicoderm patch. If you cannot trust the researchers that GlaxoSmithKline consults for answers then who can you trust?

    • "A meta-analysis of the efficacy of over-the-counter nicotine replacement"    The long term (that is, greater than six months) quit rates for OTC NRT was 1% and 6% in two studies and 8?1% in five other studies. These results were not homogenous; however, when combined the estimated OR [odds ratio] was 7%  -  A study by JR Hughes and S Shiffman, et al. 2003.    Dr Hughes has received speaking and consulting fees and grants from Glaxo-SmithKline and Pharmacia, both of whom market nicotine replacement products, as well as from other companies/organisations that provide smoking cessation services and products. Dr Shiffman serves as a consultant to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) on an exclusive basis regarding matters relating to smoking cessation. Dr Shiffman has a financial interest in a venture to develop new nicotine medications.
    • "Recycling with nicotine patches in smoking cessation"  -  "After 26 weeks, all subjects had relapsed in the group previously treated with active nicotine patch ..." - a 1993 study by Tonnesen

    Contrary to the implications of NRT marketing, almost all successful long-term quitters quit smoking cold turkey - about 90%.   The biggest difference between the two quitting methods is that with each NRT quitting attempt your odds of success actually decline, while with each cold turkey attempt you stand a chance of eventually discovering the The Law of Addiction (the power of one puff of nicotine to cause relapse) through trial and error and of eventually succeeding.  Think long and hard, , what lesson could possibly be learned by repeated toying with pharmaceutical grade nicotine?

    But you do not need to wait to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard-quitting-knocks.  If you'll read  Joel's Library one time from cover-to-cover it shares the quitting insights and wisdom that Joel learned from daily watching and following thousands of cold turkey quitters over past 30 years. Knowledge is power, Jessie!  Why fight and swing in darkness when you can turn on the lights?  Isn't it a bit like trying to land a plane without putting the wheels down or attempting  to build a skyscraper without knowing how?   

    As for wanting your wife to quit too.  We fully understand your concerns for her but if smoking claims half of all smokers an average of 13 years early then what are the odds that it won't be the cause of destroying a marriage in which both are addicted to smoking nicotine?  You're looking for a crutch, Jessie, and you don't need any crutches at all to reclaim your mind health and life. 

    One of you needs to break free and share with the other the beauty of again residing inside a calm and comfortable nicoitne free mind. She cannot quit for her doctor, friend, child or spouse.  It must be her loving gift to herself or a natrual sense of deprivation will doom her quit from the start. 

    Jessie, we strongly encourage you to master a basic understanding of your chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine.  You'll never be stronger than nicotine but then you don't need to be as it's only a chemical with an I.Q. of zero.  Your greatest weapon is and always has been your vastly superior intelligence but only if put to work.

    John   (free and healing for six years, six months and 22 days during which I've avoided spending  $19,878.20 on smoked nicotine).

     Message 6 of 6 in Discussion 
    From: LindaSent: 12/7/2005 11:01 PM
    Hello Jessie:
    I have worked in drugstores, both in the front of the store and in the pharmacy for years and am constantly in contact with people who smoke, people who have quit and people who want to quit and think that they can't.  I sell cigarettes, cigars and NRT and they are all prominantly displayed in the same area behind the checkout paid for by either the cigarette companies or the pharmaceutical comapanies.
    As far as health insurance companies go, one by one each of them stopped covering the nicotine patches and the nicotine gum when they became an over the counter item and available without prescription.  The lozenge never has been in the pharmacy and at the present, I believe the only nicotine item that one needs a prescription for is the nicotine inhaler.
    Over the years, both as a smoker and now as a six year ex smoker, I have talked to many, many people I come into contact with at work about smoking and quitting.  I smoked 41 years and thought, like most people, I'd never be able to quit either with NRT or cold turkey.  I was envious of people who had been quit for years and wanted to know what powers they possessed that I didn't.  As I spoke to people and asked questions, I gathered some very interesting facts.  Facts for which there were no detailed studies.  Facts where no drug company or advertising company had paid these people to give me.
    I asked these people over the years who quit, how long they smoked and how they stopped, and how long they had been quit, and over and over I received the same answer.  They said they just decided one day to stop, or their doctors told them to stop, or maybe they they had a bad cold or flu, and they never smoked again.  Some said it was easy and for some it was difficult, but in the end they were all successful.
    It is important when asking someone who claims to have quit using NRT how long it's been since they did so.  Almost in every instance you will hear them say.."a week" or "a month" or, "I quit a couple of months but then started smoking again".  You will almost NEVER hear a person say they quit by using NRT and have been completely clean from any and all nicotine for a year or longer.
    As a matter of fact, it is amazing to see just how many people who quit smoking using NRT but are still coming in on a daily or weekly basis to buy the patches, gum or lozenges years after they quit.  I met a person at one of Joel's clinics who chewed the nicotine gum for twelve years.  I had a customer a couple of weeks ago tell me he has been smoking a pack a day and chewing the nicotine gum at the same time for 6 years.  He said he would be a five pack a day smoker if he didn't.  Can you imagine all the nicotine still being ingested and how these people felt?  They were miserable.  That is a completely different story for another time, because long time use of NRT creates other problems.  Anyone I ask who has used NRT tells me that as soon as they stopped...even if they followed the instructions for use to a T, has gone back to smoking or using NRT in a different form. 
    There are a lot of studies or so called studies out there that claim that using NRT increases your chances of quitting, but they don't tell you for how long.  Again, ask people you know who used NRT and have been completely free of all nicotine for over a year and you will probably be able to count them on one hand.  Why do these studies make these claims?  Every study that has been conducted on NRT that claims to be successful has usually been paid for by the company that manufactures it and like any advertising ploy, they don't give you all the facts.  Many doctors and health professionals, when asked by their patients how to quit, haven't the faintest clue so they tell them to try the patches or gum.  Ask the doctor if he or she quit smoking and they will tell you they just stopped and used no aids.
    You will find that almost every person who has been off smoking or chewing for a year or longer did so without any help. Years ago there was no NRT and years ago people quit and a lot more, at that.  Quit smoking rates have declined in recent years and that decline conincides with the availabilty of NRT.  More people are "trying" to quit using NRT, but less are successful because they rely on the very drug they are wanting to quit.  They think this is some sort of magic that will cause them to stop as soon as they begin using it.  Unfortunately, addiction does not work this way and neither does NRT.
    There is a voiceover that interrupts the overhead piped in music, in our store and all the others in the nation wide chain, which features a prominant golfer who says that quitting smoking is hard because as an ex smoker he knows.  He says using NRT will help.  Those words are not his.  The drug companies have paid him to say this.  Continue to listen, and he will tell you that if you buy this product, then you can enter a contest to win a trip to one of his sponsored tournaments.  How did this golfing personality really quit?  He did so like most successful long term quitters quit.  Cold turkey.
    Don't use lack of money for NRT as an excuse for not being able to quit.  You don't need it and more than you need the so called quitting aids.   Quitting nicotine is not contingent on using NRT any more that quitting other addictions are contingent on buying a lesser dose of the drug a person wants to quit.  It doesn't cost a penny to be successful. Quitting is as simple as understanding your addiction and as easy as never taking another puff.

    First  Previous  2-6 of 6  Next  Last 
    Return to General